One Of Rugby's Best Is Walking Away For A Run At The NFL

One of the best Rugby League players in the world has decided to walk away from one of the biggest contracts in the sport's history ... for the NFL.

One Of Rugby's Best Is Walking Away For A Run At The NFL
Getty Images / Matt King

One of the world's best rugby league players is walking away from the sport he's played his whole life so he can make a run at the NFL. 

His name is Jarryd Hayne, and he's really, really good ... at running. Seriously, you should look up the Australian's highlight reels online; the man can run. (Video via TVNZ)

The former Parramatta Eels fullback turned down the most lucrative contract offer in the history of the National Rugby League. Wednesday he said why. 

HAYNE VIA SKY NEWS: "Don't do something that's easy; don't do something that isn't going to make you a better person or a stronger person or something that you think you can't do. That's what I'm doing."

That explains why he's making the switch, but the question of how he'll do it is more open-ended. 

Hayne has said his speed, agility and power make him a good fit for American football and he could see himself in a special teams role as a punter or kick returner. (Video via Fox Sports)

A writer for Deadspin also speculated"Hayne is 6'2" and 220 pounds, so wide receiver or tight end (if he bulked up a bit) are also options" for the 26-year-old.

Hayne doesn't have an American football contract yet, but he did visit the Seattle Seahawks last month, which has sparked speculation about where he might end up.  

One point that might go unnoticed by casual observers is that Hayne plays rugby league, which is closer to American football than its better-known relative, rugby union. 

One of the main differences is in rugby league, tackles are uncontested, which means every time a player goes down, the opposing team has to move back 10 yards — kind of like downs in football.

In that respect, the flow of the rugby league is closer to football, so Hayne, in spite of his inexperience, might already have an advantage. (Video via Australia Plus)

And he's got some high-profile backers.

CNN: "Reggie Bush gave Hayne a glowing endorsement."

REGGIE BUSH, VIA CNN: "He's quick, he's elusive, he's powerful, he's fast ... I think he'd fare pretty well."

Hayne has said he hopes to make it onto a practice squad and will start preparing for that around January or February. The owner of the Parramatta Eels said the door is open if Hayne ever decides to return. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.